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Temporary Calm by Saurus Temporary Calm by Saurus
Behold! The continuation of the arctic waste saga. As stated earlier, we’re drawing this to a close, so this’ll be the last part featuring Ageaus. I might continue the story of Orothan at another time, but for now this is the conclusion of the Arctic Waste. The previous part can be found here: [link]

Enjoy the read!

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Agaeus woke to gentle waves of heat soothing his aching body. It was a great effort to pull his mind from the numb embrace of sleep where he had been so comfortable, but he found the conscious world was not uncomfortable either. The first thing he grew aware of was the thick pack of furs covering his body, quickly followed by the comfortable warmth of his surrounding. Opening his eyes, he was greeted by the soothing light of a lit fire in front of him, crackling pleasantly. Ageaus blinked a few times, registering more and more details of his surrounding. He found himself in a cave of sorts dominated by sleek rock formations, with the large bluish shape of the apparently sleeping Orothan lying next to him. He then began to recall what had happened prior to his black out. There had been the fall, Orothan’s capture, the fight and the injury. It was a bit vague to his confused thoughts, but it began to make sense again.
In a brave attempt to sit up, he dared to move, and was met by a shot of pain spreading from his side through the rest of his body. He instantly halted his attempt, letting out a painful moan.

“Looks like you’re awake.” Orothan’s voice reached him.
Ageaus turned his head to face the dragon and saw he had opened his eyes to small slits. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to wake you.” he stated, continuing his effort to sit up straight, which succeeded this time. “Where are we?”
“A cave underneath the snow.” Orothan replied absently, closing his eyes again. “You got injured in the fight. I carried you here.”
“What happened-“ he interrupted himself as a second shot of pain froze his attempt to pull the fur blankets closer around himself. “What happened to those men we fought?”
Orothan yawned and slightly turned his head, just barely opening his eyes again. “They ran after we trashed them. I was slightly preoccupied with getting you to someplace safe afterwards. You were turning al shades of pale and blue after you fainted. I figured all your enchantments stopped working at that time, so you were freezing pretty fast. It’s a good thing I found this cave.”
“How did you find this cave anyway?” Ageaus said, casting a glance around.
“I don’t know.” Orothan didn’t move as he poke, maintaining his absent demeanour. “The moment I touched the snow I knew this cave was here, just as well as I knew every other bit of landscape for miles around. I suppose it’s a part of this dragon thing.” He added coolly.

Ageaus didn’t expand on it, ignoring the last remark. He carefully lifted the blankets to inspect the wound on his side. Placing a hand on it, he was surprised to feel it had stopped bleeding and even had begun to heal, forming a thin crust. What surprised him more was that it felt freezing cold. “How did you-?”
“I froze the wound shut.” Orothan interrupted him and fell silent again. When Ageaus gave him an urging look to go on Orothan sighed and rolled his eyes. “I breathed on it.”
“Come again?”
“I breathed on it.” Orothan replied more loudly. “I tried to spew fire or some such and scorch it shot, but it froze the wound instead.”
“Ah.” Ageaus concluded, smiling briefly at Orothan’s admitting to attempting a dragon’s power. “How about the campfire and these blankets?”
“I took those from the soldiers.”
Ageaus eyed the dragon suspiciously, his smile quickly vanishing. “I thought you said you let them go?”
Orothan opened his eyes a bit further this time, his expression clearly revealing he had no intention of being reprimanded. “No, I said they ran after we fought them and that I was a bit preoccupied at that time to go after them. The moment I got you to safety and fixed up your wound I went after them. They had an outpost nearby, which is where the ballista shot that took me down came from. I just messed the place up a bit, is all. As far as I know I didn’t kill any of them.” He discarded Ageaus’ disapproving look. “I reduced the place to firewood and took the blankets I could find.” He closed his eyes again, ignoring the merman shaking his head.

Some time passed as both fell silent. Orothan had returned to his low steady breathing, while Ageaus had settled for his seated position near the fire. He said no words, But Orothan could tell he contemplated something. It was the same brooding silence the mage had maintained during their long flight. He refused to ask anything this time though, and persisted in the calm of his near slumber. Eventually Ageaus did make the first move.

“Orothan?”
“Hmm?”
“I want to put an end to this quest. I should never have gotten myself in to this to start with.” He continued before Orothan had a chance to give him a surprised look. “Here I am, in the middle of the arctic waste, thousands of miles from the Aquarion Empire, surrounded by nothing but people who would have me captured or worse, nearly bleeding to death. I got carried away by my pride and a desire to take the fight to Khonsu personally, and in doing so ignored all my true responsibilities. I have an empire to lead, for god’s sake! What am I doing here?” By now he seemed to be addressing himself more then he was Orothan, so the dragon listened in silence. “Light, I even turned you into a dragon, simply assuming I’d be able to handle you if it turned out wrong. I just assumed I was strong enough, that I’d be able to force you to help me fight Aïlthilim and Khonsu. I thought-!“ He hissed as another stab of pain forced him to quiet, and settled him down.
Orothan blinked a few times before letting slip an accepting rumble. “If that’s what you want, then that’s your call, but I can’t walk away from this now. I’ve betrayed Aïlthilim in more ways then you know, and she will not take it lightly. Neither will Konshu give up his plans of conquest so easily. Only death would stop one as he.”
He paused as he considered his next words. “I will need the powers you’ve given me if I am to face Khonsu by myself, so I would ask that I remain a dragon until I’ve defeated Khonsu. If I manage that, will you reverse the transformation afterwards?”

To Orothan’s surprise Ageaus hesitated before replying. “There might be a problem with that.” He replied with clear discomfort etched on his face. “I did not lie when I said it took me much power to place that enchantment on you. That’s because it was not my spell to begin with. The enchantment I used was based of a scroll I found some time ago. The spell is powerful, and I used a great deal of energy in casting it, and I would be arrogant to claim I could easily reverse it. If however you choose to pursue Khonsu as you are now, I will use all the time I have at my disposal to find a reversing spell before you seek me out again.” He was quick to promise Orothan, and everything about him suggested he was sincere.

Orothan stared back at the mage for a few instances, his thoughts mixed, though well hidden from the telepath, his expression stern and cold. After a while he lowered his head again, his features softening. “Very well; I suppose it makes little difference in the end. If you are to leave, I take it our paths will part soon then?”

“I’m heading for Aquarion the moment I can travel again.” Ageaus replied determined.
“Hmm. You’d do well to get some sleep then.” The dragon remarked dryly.
“I suppose you’re right.” Ageaus confirmed, and reached to throw another log on the fading campfire. “One last question, how’d you make the campfire?”
“Let me sleep will you?” Orothan grumbled deeply.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconthat-kid-flak:
That-Kid-Flak Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2007  Hobbyist Writer
I like the dragon's shadow a lot. Very nice piece.
Reply
:iconsaurus:
Saurus Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:D Thank you. That's an interesting aspect of the drawing to like :)
Reply
:iconniothedreamer:
NioTheDreamer Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2007
Nice to see your writing again, mate

So what betrails has this dragon done?
Reply
:iconsaurus:
Saurus Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Towards Ageaus? The dragon attacked his empire. Towards Aïlthilim? He used to be her general when he was still human, but turned on her for his own purposes. He betrayed more people in more ways, but I haven't worked out the story completely yet.

As always, thanks for the comment mate! :)
Reply
:iconniothedreamer:
NioTheDreamer Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2007
This is getting interesting. A pivitol point of the story. We are no longer sure of the dragons feelings. He did save Ageaus's life but did he do because he cared or because he was his only chance at being human again?

I love the way you write. Its very interesting. Good job mate
Reply
:iconsaurus:
Saurus Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The plot thickens!
Reply
:iconageaus:
Ageaus Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2007   Traditional Artist
Nice, I'll give you a more personalized description in the note.
Reply
:iconletdragon:
Letdragon Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2007
A great pic and a great story to go with it
Reply
:iconsaurus:
Saurus Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Why thank you! Glad to have caught your attention!
Reply
:iconletdragon:
Letdragon Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2007
Caught my attention? I've been watching you, you know :)
Reply
:iconsaurus:
Saurus Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Since April 13th no less! That’s odd. I thought so, and checked to make sure, but didn't find you on the list. Upon checking again, there you are indeed. Such transgression to have overlooked an appreciator of my works! I must apologize!
Reply
:iconletdragon:
Letdragon Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2007
It's alright :)
Reply
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